Can an employer inform its staff if a colleague has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)?
It may be appropriate for an employer to inform employees if a colleague has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), so that steps can be taken to prevent further transmission. However, the employer must keep in mind its data protection obligations in relation to the employee and disclose no more information than is necessary. The employer may be able to provide information that allows staff to know if they have been in recent close contact with the employee who has tested positive, without identifying the individual involved.
In its guidance for employers on workplace testing, the Information Commissioner's Office states that employers should keep their staff informed about potential or confirmed cases among colleagues, but that they should "avoid naming individuals if possible".